September is an anniversary month for AGiLE Business Media. Although we didn't launch our first magazine brand, DC Velocity, until January 2003, it was on Sept. 16, 2002, that we set up shop, hung out our shingle, and opened for business.
We felt there was an opportunity to come to market with something fresh. The magazine landscape at the time included publications for logistics professionals of every stripe, from executives whose primary focus was on warehouse and distribution center (DC) operations to those who specialized in areas like freight transportation, procurement, operations, information technology, or strategic development. Although the media offerings included many fine brands (and several that the founding AGiLE team had led for decades), we noted one thing they all had in common: silos.
Yes, that's right, silos. Even though the magazines constantly preached the importance of tearing down functional silos and building a single, integrated, customer-focused supply chain, they were, themselves, still delivering information in those same silos that essentially prevented companies from optimizing their logistics operations.
We saw that as an opportunity. We would practice what was being preached. We would create a magazine that approached the market the same way executives were being told they needed to approach their logistics operations—in an integrated fashion, free of silos, and with a unified focus on the customer.
That was the genesis of DC Velocity, the first media brand to take a comprehensive, holistic approach to covering the logistics profession. No longer would logistics professionals need one magazine for material handling information, and another for transportation news, and yet another for news on enabling technologies.
It was a bold move at the time, but we were confident it was the right way to go. Time has proved us right. Other magazine brands have since followed suit. Some of the key industry and professional associations have gone down that road as well, expanding their focus from a small slice of the logistics market to the overall supply chain.
Our new strategy and approach, we thought, also called for a new look and a fresh voice. We committed to stunning graphics, award-winning design, and the highest-quality paper to create a cutting-edge look and feel that would mirror the quality of the content produced by our editorial team.
We adopted a contemporary voice to further differentiate ourselves. And we had some fun with it. One thing we had noted was that the other magazines in the market, some over 50 years old at the time, had come of age writing for an audience that had grown up listening to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis. We set out to establish a voice that was newer, edgier, and more contemporary. In essence, we wrote to an audience that had grown up listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Queen.
We decided to have a little fun with that. As an inside joke, we began including a reference to a Beatles song in every issue of DC Velocity. Little did we know that readers (and advertisers) had caught on and loved searching for the hidden reference each month.
At the end of 2003, after having established our voice (and having been recognized by the American Society of Business Publication Editors as one of the Top 10 business magazines in the U.S), we ended our little "inside joke."
Last week, a loyal reader commented that he missed those Beatles references and wondered why we didn't bring them back. It was a good question and we couldn't think of any reason not to. But this time, we've decided we won't limit ourselves to Beatles citations; we'll draw from the full genre of classic rock. So, as evidenced by the words on this very page, we are here, once again, to say We Will Rock You!